Tuesday, January 6, 2015

January 2015 30 days of art challenge

Off and running in the new year, I decided to take the challenge again this year.    First I bought a new journal to fill with 30 days of art.     What interests me at the moment is more landscapes painted with the gelli plate.  I'm printing on deli wrap paper and can easisly cut it and glue it in with a glue stick.  It's January 6th, so here are the first entries.   

I'm trying different color combinations  and trying to regain the touch that I had developed months ago when I did this daily.   This is not as simple as it looks.    The paint must be the right consistency, applied in very thing layers and mixed right on the print plate.    Anything can go wrong - and often does.   It can dry too fast.   Temperature and air movement affect this.      No fans can be on.    No heat blowing around.    This technique forces the artist to work quickly and freely.   It's one of the things I like about doing them.

 Throwing down a little bit of pink.   
 Making a few lines by scratching off the paint with side of brayer roller.
 Some wild colors.    The artists who may try this  will soon find out there are a lot of trials and errors.   If you do, be prepared for more failurs than successes - lots of prints get recycled or printed over with something else.   Deli wrap paer is thin and cheap.   I don't feel like it's much of a waste just to toss them away.    

The brayer must be cleaned by rolling  it onto another surface, so that's where some of the discards come in hand.   usually I just keep an old catalog or magazine handy and roll the unwanted paints onto it.     Carolyn Dube suggests cleaning off the brayer in a journal so you have ready made background colors.     I personally do not want those colors in my journals.   It's just not my style.
 More winterly looking colors.   Towards the bottom of this one there are wrinkles in the deli wrap.    the reason it buckled like that is the paint was thicker at the bottom than at the top.     If the paint is too wet or heavy the deli wrap does this.    Regular printing paper would not.
 Skies and mountains and  foregrounds.   Just peaceful, restful vistas.      
 The other day I cut an owl stencil and decided to try it on the gelli plate - my oldest most used one.     the paint stuck so hard to the gelli plate I could not get it to loosen so I could pull a print.     I coated it with additional layers of wet paint to help it release, but it never really did.   Instead it did something surprising.    Wherever the original paint was, the new white paint stuck to the old paint.    When I painted it over with turquoise paint and a brayer then pulled a print, the white coat came through as the outline of the owl and a few little bits of the red came through.    Hmmm.     I did this several times and finally admitted defeat and had to wash it in warm water to get the paint to release, and then only with some rubbing.     I had not put the protective plastic sheet over it  and left it several days.    Perhaps it needs that plastic to keep the mineral oil coating alive.    I think that's why the paint would not release, the mineral oil was not activated, or maybe it's gone now with all the washings it has had.  They say they last forever but I don't quite buy that.

My winter work station is set up on my kitchen counter where I can stand and move about easily, have ready access to water and an overhead light.    

It's not nearly as fun as working in the studio, but nights have been in the 20s and 30s lately so it never really warms all the way though the studio.    The cold permeates everything.   Every book I open is chilled inside, the drawers - likewise.    Plus the paints and all get too cold.  

I packed up a bunch of supplies to bring up again this winter.      In the afternoon it's warm enough to be in the solarium for several hours and drink in the sunshine while working on art, or grooming the dogs, or just listening to public radio.

Leslie Saeta and her challenge came at the right time, with the new year and time to dig in and develop some new skills and beef up some of the half forgotten ones.    Most of the painters who have taken the challenge, more than 1,200 this time,  are doing some pretty serious work and fine paintings.     One of my favorite painters is taking the challenge and I'm so glad, it's the only time I get to see his new work.      My friend Roberta has a hand injury that is making painting difficult right now, so she is opting to paint with her non dominant hand, and doing it so well - I can hardly tell the difference.      Amazing.  

Have I done any artwork in the last six days that is frame worthy?    Nope.    It's not what I'm after right now.   I just want to master the touch and relearn and even go beyond he techniques I worked out last time.     I have a few sketches I want to translate into deli art landscapes.   Then transfer them to canvas.     We'll see.     

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